After being quarantined for a little while now, you might start running out of ideas and inspiration to cook. You can’t only eat instant noodle soup, pizza, or other microwavable foods every day. It’s important to cook and eat some tasty and fresh meals every once in a while as well. In order to continue enjoying the Spanish experience at the same time, here are a few simple Spanish recipes for you to make at home. It is highly recommended to look up some of the recipes online as well for a more detailed explanation.
Pan Con Tomate
Let’s first look at the easiest recipe of all. This delicious treat from Barcelona/Catalonia can serve as a tasty lunch, a great entrada (starter) or as part of a tapas dinner. The ingredients you will need are the following:
Bread, Garlic, rubbing tomatoes (not all tomatoes can be rubbed into bread, you have to find the right ones), virgin olive oil, and salt.
All you have to do is get a piece of bread (preferably toasted), rub it with a bit of raw garlic, then rub it with a tomato, add some virgin olive oil, and lastly, a bit of salt, not too much, not too little. That’s how you make yourself a very appetizing treat! Tip: if you sit on your balcony or right next to your window in the sun, you can pretend as if you are enjoying your pan con tomate on a nice terrace somewhere in the city.
Tortilla de Patata
The famous tortilla de patata or Spanish omelet, obviously has to be in this list. It takes some time to make the dish, but it will definitely be worth your time! The ingredients that you will need are the following:
6 to 7 potatoes, yellow onion, salt, olive oil, and 5 to 6 eggs.
Making a tortilla de patata is a bit more difficult, but not impossible. Here is a very simplified explanation of what to do; put sliced potatoes and onions in a preheated pan, add a bit of salt, then cook it on medium-high heat, turning the potatoes occasionally, until they are tender enough. Then drain the potatoes and save the oil, with which you cooked the potatoes, for later use. Then crack the eggs and beat them together with a bit of salt and pour it over the potatoes and onions and ‘stir’ it all a little bit. Then use the oil again in a pan and add the mixture to it. Cook it all on high heat for 1 minute and medium-low for 5 minutes. Flip the tortilla using a plate, cook it on high heat for 1 minute and medium-low for 2–3 minutes. Finally, flip it back on a plate and your delicious tortilla de patata is done!
Another very popular Spanish dish is this cold soup. It is great to eat on a warm and humid summer’s day when you don’t feel like standing in a hot kitchen. However, it is equally great to eat on any other day during the year and it is also very easy to make it. You can add many different ingredients to the basic recipe to make it less plain. The following ingredients are needed in order for you to make your basic Gazpacho:
Some ripe tomatoes, thick slices of day-old bread, a cucumber, shallot, cloves of garlic, sherry vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, lastly, salt and pepper.
In order to make the Gazpacho you will start by preparing your ingredients, then you will put the bread in a blender, squeeze the tomato over it and let the bread absorb the tomato juices for about 20 minutes. Then turn the blender on and wait for it to form a rough porridge. Add cucumber, shallots, garlic, vinegar and a bit of salt (add more ingredients if you want to). While the mixture is blending add the olive oil. Once the ingredients are liquefied taste it and season it to your liking. Then store it in a refrigerator and after several hours you can enjoy this delicious soup.
Paella is a very well known Spanish meal and should definitely be one of the great Spanish dishes you should try while staying the the country. Traditionally the meal is made with fish, however if you don’t like fish you can absolutely add something else. It only takes around 40 minutes to prepare paella and you will need the following ingredients:
Olive oil, onion, hot smoked paprika and dried thyme, paella or risotto rice, sherry or white wine (optional), can of chopped tomatoes with garlic, chicken stock, bag of frozen seafood mix, lemon, and parsley.
In order to make you will need a large frying pan or wok, heat it with olive oil and add chopped onion. Let it soften for 5 minutes and after that stir in the hot smoked paprika, dried thyme, the rice and stir the mixture for 1 minute. Then add a little bit of sherry or white wine if you want to. Then after the wine has evaporated, add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Season and cook the mixture for about 15 minutes while stirring. Then add the frozen seafood mix in the pan and cover it with a lid. Let it simmer for 5 minutes until the rice is tender and the seafood is cooked. Squeeze some lemon juice over it, add the parsley and serve this great meal with some wedges of the rest of the lemon.
These small, doughy treats can serve as really great and tasty snacks or as part of a tapas dinner. The filling can differ a lot, you can use meat, fish, and even vegetarian alternatives. We will be looking at a recipe for beef empanadas. It will take around 35 minutes to make and you will need the following ingredients:
Ground beef, red onion (finely chopped), salt and pepper, ground cumin, chili powder, can of tomato sauce, can of crescent rolls, egg white (beaten), and egg yolk (beaten).
You will start by cooking the ground beef with onion, salt and pepper over medium-high heat. Once the beef is brown stir in the cumin, chili powder and the tomato sauce and cook it on low temperature for 5 minutes. Heat the oven to 200°C and start preparing the empanadas. Unroll the dough and cut out around 8 dough rounds. Place a bit of the beef mixture in the center of each dough round and brush the edges of each round with the egg whites. Then, fold the dough round and press the edges together and if you want to you can decorate the edges. Brush the empanadas with the egg yolks and put in the over for 10–12 minutes until golden brown. Now your empanadas are done and ready to be enjoyed!
This was our list with some great foods that you should try and make at home! Hopefully, you are now more inspired to cook and able to eat something other than instant meals. Good luck and buen provecho!